Rheal LeBlanc

St. Catharines Standard - July 11, 2013

The former principal at Saint Paul High School and member of the Holy Cross Fathers has been convicted of possession of child pornography.

Rheal LeBlanc, 77, was arrested in Dec. 2012 and charged with one count of possession of child pornography after the Niagara Regional Police Internet child exploitation unit carried out a search of a Welland home following a month-long investigation.

Det. Staff Sgt. Randy Bleich, head of the NRP's special victims unit, confirmed Thursday that LeBlanc pleaded guilty to the charge earlier this month in Welland.

The Catholic priest was sentenced to 14 days in jail, to be served on weekends.

LeBlanc, a resident of Welland, was ordained in 1963. He was the first principal at Saint Paul High School when it opened its doors in 1982. He remained at the school until he retired in 1994.

The school's gymnasium was named Fr. LeBlanc Hall in his honor.

He was also principal at Notre Dame College School from 1972 to 1982.

When a $4.4-million expansion was completed at Notre Dame in 2004, the school’s new cafeteria was renamed LeBlanc Hall in honour of the former principal.

The gym and cafeteria will be renamed, said John Crocco, director of Niagara's Catholic school board.